Tool?: I hired a web designer to make a simple portal for the main website. I share this domain with a longtime friend and colleague of mine. I don't know what he used, but if I had to guess, it was probably photoshop. I strain the word "web designer" because the guy only does this on the side, and I only knew about him because a college classmate referred me to him. For those looking for a cheap web designer though, I can offer his contact information.
Tool: Wordpress. Used the free theme "WP-Brown" and went nuts tweaking the theme to make it more stylish and interesting. Replaced the title text with an image logo (they say that's a no-no, but it couldn't be helped) and just recently put in a tooltip that brings up a caption when you hover over the cover images in the header. Tweaked the font color and did an overhaul on the post order to make my story readable. Tore out the ad code to put in project wonderful, which fits perfectly.
Tool: Wordpress. Using the free theme "Elegant Grunge". Picked this one up because of the styled image frames and interesting (but simple) header. Didn't do much to this one as it's just for my author blog.
Tool: Wordpress. Used the free theme "Oulipo". I loved how minimal and easy to customize it was--the typography is beautiful. This is still a work in progress, but I've already gone ahead and replaced the title text with a logo image, and I hope to add more as the project picks up steam.